Psychology Degree Programs in Colorado (S-Z)

| Staff Writers

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Are you ready to find your fit?

If you’re searching for accredited psychology degree programs in Colorado, you’ve come to the right place because the “Centennial State” has numerous options.

Standing tall in the Mountain States among the Rockies, Colorado is America’s 22nd most populous state with over 5.4 million residents. More than 663,000 live in the capital hub of Denver alone. Not only is Colorado a great place to live with its scenic canyons and rapid flowing rivers, but it’s also a great place for budding psychologists to work.

The Denver Post reports that around 260,000 adults and children in Colorado seek treatment for severe mental illnesses annually. Colorado currently employs 2,330 clinical, counseling, and school psychologists. As the demand for psychological services grows by 19 percent nationwide, jobs will be added.

The following is the second half (S-Z) of psychology degree programs in Colorado to help start your human services career. The first half of list can be seen here.

University of Colorado Boulder

Department of Psychology and Neuroscience

First founded in 1876 five months before Colorado became a state, the University of Colorado Boulder is a major flagship public space-grant research institution enrolling over 32,000 students in nine academic colleges from its 786-acre urban campus at the base of the Rocky Mountains. Ranked the 28th most innovative global institution by Thomson-Reuters, CU-Boulder is named America’s 89th best university, 37th top public school, and 72nd best college for veterans by the U.S. News. The Department of Psychology and Neuroscience also houses the 18th best clinical psychology and 39th top graduate psychology degrees nationwide.

Psychology Major

Undergraduates at CU-Boulder who declare the Psychology Major are given research-grounded education to learn the fundamental principles of human cognition, emotion, and behavior. Centered on mind-brain relationships, the program equips students with the skills for diverse career paths, including graduate school. Leading a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), the 120-credit curriculum features courses from perception and personality to lifespan development and behavioral genetics. Psychology majors have the option to engage in internships, research projects, and the university’s Psi Chi chapter. Motivated students can complete the Honors Program with a senior thesis. There’s also an Undergraduate Certificate in Cognitive Science.

Neuroscience Major

Also granting a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree, the Neuroscience Major is available to CU-Boulder undergraduate students intrigued by the brain and central nervous system at the molecular, cellular, behavioral, developmental, and cognitive levels. Students are trained with the empirical-based research methods for studying higher brain functions and the pathology of neurological disorders. The 120-credit curriculum is structured for students seeking advanced graduate training. Along with classroom instruction, neuroscience majors spend considerable time conducting hands-on research in faculty labs, including the Spencer Neuroendocrinology Laboratory. Coursework is heavily science-based in chemistry, engineering, physiology, biology, pharmacology, physics, and ecology.

Joint B.A./M.A. in Cognitive Psychology

As a unique five-year program, the Joint B.A./M.A. in Cognitive Psychology program is offered to motivated undergraduate students to accelerate their degree path into graduate school for the cognitive sciences. Admitting just six students yearly, the competitive program requires a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2. Students will start taking graduate courses devoted to the scientific study of mental and emotional processes in their senior year. The curriculum will include coursework in research methods, neuroscience, perception, learning, linguistics, epistemology, statistics, sensation, memory, and decision making. All B.A./M.A. students must complete a culminating master’s thesis research project for a total 150 credits.

Graduate Program in Social Psychology

Offering a M.A. and Ph.D., the Graduate Program in Social Psychology at the University of Colorado Boulder is designed for advanced students interested in conducting theory-oriented research studying psychological problems of social significance. Students will engage in field, longitudinal, and quasi-experimental research evaluating how people’s thoughts and behaviors are influenced by social relationships. Social psychology students work with mentoring faculty in the CU Stereotyping and Prejudice Lab, Social Automaticity Lab, or Emotion Decision Judgment and Intuition Lab. Over at least four years full-time, students will take in-depth specialized seminars culminating in dissertation research to become independent scholars.

Ph.D. in Behavioral Genetics

Psychology students in the Ph.D. in Behavioral Genetics program at CU-Boulder will specialize in studying how genetics and environmental factors positively or negatively impact human behavior. The five-year program includes earning a master’s degree, passing a comprehensive exam, and defending doctoral thesis research. Advanced coursework will delve into topics on molecular genetics, gene expression, bioinformatics, genomics, neurobiology, evolutionary genetics, and pharmacogenetics. Ph.D. students spend at least one semester teaching as graduate assistants. Each year, doctoral candidates will showcase their empirical findings at the Institute for Behavioral Genetics’ Research Day. Many receive grants from the National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH).

Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience

Taking four to five years, the Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience is a full-time, residential program focused on fostering exceptional breadth and depth of knowledge in the scientific components of brain and behavior. Students in the strongly research-oriented program will begin working in faculty labs starting their first semester. The curriculum draws from multidisciplinary fields like physiology, biochemistry, genetics, psychology, and pharmacology for customized student learning. All Ph.D. candidates gain at least one year of teaching experience before completing a comprehensive exam and starting their doctoral dissertation. Graduates are well-prepared for academia as well as private and government research.

Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology

Fully accredited by the APA, the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program at the University of Colorado Boulder strives to produce clinical scientists capable of applying scientific research findings to assess, prevent, and treat mental health disorders. Students work closely with the large program’s approximately 42 faculty members to skillfully conduct research. Although the Ph.D. is scientific-based, students are also trained to apply knowledge in effective clinical interventions. Training at the CU Raimy Psychology Clinic and Sutherland Center for Bipolar Disorder begins in students’ second year. After the doctoral dissertation, students spend their final fifth year in an APA-approved internship.

Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience

Melding two interdisciplinary disciplines, the Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience program at CU-Boulder allows graduate students to investigate how humans process and interpret information. Faculty maintain an active learning environment to encourage doctoral students to build the inquiry skills for successful research careers. Advanced seminars will tackle topics like perception, attention, learning, memory, sensation, language acquisition, and thinking patterns. Training is conducted on-campus in the O’Reilly Computational Cognitive Neuroscience Lab and Munakata Cognitive Development Center. Ph.D. students have access to state-of-the-art fMRI, EEG, ERP, and MEG testing equipment. Five years of studies, including the dissertation, are required.

Joint Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Psychology with a Specialization in Social Psychology

CU-Boulder students in the Graduate Program in Social Psychology can apply to the Joint Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Psychology with a Specialization in Social Psychology after completing their first year. This interdisciplinary program focuses on acquiring core knowledge in both disciplines to understand how brain mechanisms are influenced by social environment. Student research will center on stereotyping, prejudice, violence, gender, culture, and social relations from a neurological approach. Most Joint Ph.D. students work in the CU Social Neuroscience Lab in collaboration with the Brain Imaging Center. Applicants must have an accredited bachelor’s degree and research experience.

Accreditations

American Psychological Association (APA)
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA)

Contact

Muenzinger Hall D244
345 University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309
(303) 492-8662
info@psych.colorado.edu
Program Link

University of Colorado Colorado Springs

Psychology Department

Serving more than 12,800 students, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs is an accredited public research institution in the statewide system with a 520-acre urban campus on Fountain Creek just 60 miles south of Denver. Celebrating its 50th year in the Pike Peaks region, UCCS is currently ranked the 46th best regional college, 10th top public school, and 35th best university for military veterans in the West by the U.S. News. Within America’s 167th best education school, the Psychology Department is acclaimed for having the 132nd best graduate psychology programs.

BA Psychology

Grounded in a quality liberal arts education, the BA Psychology program allows undergrad learners at UCCS to study human behavior from a biological, social, and psychological perspective. Students are trained on the latest evidence-based concepts and research methods in contemporary psychology for diverse career paths. Following APA guidelines, the curriculum includes 36 credits of major courses. Upper-division electives range from developmental psychology and neuropsychology to comparative psychology and biopsychology. Junior-level students with an overall GPA over 3.4 can complete the three-semester Honors Program with thesis research. Community service projects are continually run by the Psychology Club and Psi Chi chapter.

MA Clinical and Psychological Science

University of Colorado Colorado Springs’ MA Clinical and Psychological Science program is ideal for non-psychology majors to receive the foundational training before moving into a doctoral program. Two separate tracks are offered in Clinical Psychology and Psychological Science. The Clinical track uses the scientist/practitioner model to emphasize the role of science in mental health intervention. The research-based Psychological Science track focuses on the design, methodology, and analysis of experimental studies. Sub-plans are available in Cognition, Developmental Psychology, Psychology and Law, or Trauma Psychology. Clinical students must complete a 10-month practicum for at least 450 clock hours.

Clinical Psychology PhD

Fully APA accredited since 2007, the Clinical Psychology PhD program at UCCS is built around the Boulder scientist-practitioner model to train clinicians for academic teaching, conducting research, and implementing clinical interventions. There are two curricular focus areas available: Geropsychology and Trauma Psychology. Following the Pikes Peak Model of Competencies in Geropsychology, the first trains PhD students to assess and research the mental or emotional functioning of aging adults. The Trauma Psychology concentration gives students the skills to evaluate and diagnose the functioning of adults with a trauma history. Requiring at least 124 credits, the doctoral program culminates with a sixth year internship.

Accreditations

American Psychological Association (APA)
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA)

Contact

1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
(719) 255-8227
mkisley@uccs.edu
Program Link

University of Colorado Denver

Department of Psychology

First established in 1912, the University of Colorado Denver is an extension public doctoral-granting research institution enrolling over 18,000 students in the CU system on a main 352-acre urban campus in Denver, Colorado’s capital and largest city. Ranked seventh nationally in The Scientist’s magazine for Best Places to Work for Postdocs, CU Denver is crowned the 199th best university, 116th top public school, and 157th best college for veterans in America by the U.S. News. In the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Department of Psychology specializes in bringing curriculum alive with research focused on problems in contemporary urban life.

BA/BS in Psychology Program

With more than 700 majors, the BA/BS in Psychology at CU Denver is a large program consistently focused on exploring the neurological, social, and environmental influences on human and animal behavior. Though there’s plenty of overlap, the BA is rooted in the liberal arts to study the social aspects of psychological function. The BS is a scientific-based degree heavily concerned with the biological and biochemical basis of mental processes. All undergraduates will be exposed to research methods in cognitive psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, and I/O psychology. Students can maximize their BA or BS by adding internships and service learning projects into their 120-credit curriculum.

PhD in Clinical Health Psychology

At the graduate level, CU Denver grants the PhD in Clinical Health Psychology to develop the essential techniques for assessing, diagnosing, and treating psychological disturbances. With a scientific-practitioner approach, the program places emphasis on using empirical-based research findings to design effective clinical interventions for health-related problems. Awarded APA accreditation in 2014, the PhD bridges between the Downtown Campus and Anschutz Medical Campus (AMC). Students work with faculty mentors in the Relationship Studies Lab, CALM Heart Lab, and Infant Lab. CBT training is also delivered at the Psychology Clinic. Along with 1,200 hours of practicum, PhD students complete a culminating fifth year internship.

Accreditations

American Psychological Association (APA)
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA)

Contact

1200 Larimer Street
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217
(303) 556-8565
Peter.Kaplan@ucdenver.edu
Program Link

University of Denver

Department of Psychology

Initially founded as the Colorado Seminary by former Governor John Evans in 1864, the University of Denver is a comprehensive private non-profit and non-sectarian institution educating more than 11,800 students annually from its 125-acre urban campus in the University Neighborhood of Denver. Placed in the top 25 fittest colleges within America in Men’s Fitness magazine, DU is ranked the 86th best national university by the U.S. News. The Department of Psychology also proudly houses the country’s 47th best clinical psychology and 92nd top graduate psychology programs.

B.A./B.S. in Psychology

At DU, the Undergraduate Program in Psychology awards a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) to students interested by scholarly inquiry into the human mind and behavior. Rooted in the liberal arts, the B.A. provides greater flexibility for tailoring coursework in the social sciences and human services. The B.S. option is designed for undergraduates with strong science and math interests in preparation for graduate study. Either degree can include the Concentration in Cognitive Neuroscience. Requiring at least 40 major credits, the program introduces students to abnormal psychology, personality, cognition, child development, social psychology, research methods, and statistics.

M.A. in Forensic Psychology

First offered in 1999, the M.A. in Forensic Psychology program allows DU graduate students to specialize their master’s-level clinical training in applying psychological theories in the criminal justice system. The program is ideal for students interested in juvenile justice, child welfare, victim assistance, police consultation, domestic violence, corrections, and trial consulting. Over two years full-time, students will complete two field placements under the supervision of a licensed clinical psychologist. Field trips to community mental health agencies, courts, prisons, and legal firms are also included. Before graduation, all M.A. students must pass a clinical competency exam.

M.A. in International Disaster Psychology

Rooted in the fundamentals of clinical psychology, the M.A. in International Disaster Psychology is a unique program designed by the University of Denver to produce effective mental health professionals serving individuals and communities affected by traumatic events. Recognized for “Innovative Graduate Training” by the APA, this two-year program addresses topics like trauma psychology, disaster response, domestic violence, international conflict, crisis intervention, grief, and global pandemics. Along with 90 quarter hours of coursework, students complete several Denver-based field placements. Between the first and second year, M.A. students participate in a summer internship abroad in countries like Ghana, Panama, India, and Serbia.

M.A. in Sport & Performance Psychology

Consisting of 72 quarter credits, the two-year M.A. in Sport & Performance Psychology program at DU delivers the necessary training for graduate students to help athletes, performers, and coaches create more positive outcomes. Students are transformed into ethical, socially conscious mental health professionals capable of contributing to the greater good in athletics and performing arts. Coursework will delve into human development, counseling theory, team dynamics, exercise psychology, kinesiology, and performance excellence. Field practicum is woven seamlessly into the curriculum across the Denver Metro. Summer internships are offered at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, Vail Ski Academy, and Evert Tennis Academy.

PhD in Psychology

For research-oriented doctoral training, the PhD in Psychology is granted by DU with four advanced specializations. First, the Affect/Social Psychology track is focused on studying the intricacies of neuroscience and human emotional processes from a relational context. The Cognitive Psychology track analyzes how the mind works using neural modeling, fMRI, EEG, and other testing methods. The Clinical Child Psychology track engages PhD students in scientific research on factors that contribute to childhood psychological disorders. Finally, the Developmental Track gives insight into human’s biological, cultural, and social development processes. With a student-faculty ratio of 2:1, students closely interact with award-winning professors in grant-funded experiments.

PsyD in Clinical Psychology

Since 1976, the PsyD in Clinical Psychology program at the University of Denver has had APA approval to provide high-quality clinical training in the Vail scholar-practitioner model. The program strives to produce ethical, multicultural-oriented psychologists with the interpersonal skills to provide assessment and intervention with diverse populations. Featuring 135 credits, the rigorous curriculum has a three-year residence requirement before the dissertation and culminating doctoral internship. The program is one of only two in America offering a specialty in Therapeutic Assessment. Beginning in the first year, students gain experience working in the Professional Psychology Center (PPC). There are also over 130 practicum sites to choose from.

Accreditations

American Psychological Association (APA)
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA)

Contact

2155 South Race Street
Denver, CO 80208
(303) 871-2478
jbenson@du.edu
Program Link

University of Northern Colorado

School of Psychological Sciences

As a premier public four-year research institution first founded in 1889, the University of Northern Colorado is home to over 12,100 students on its beautiful 260-acre suburban campus in Greeley along the Front Range Urban Corridor just an hour’s drive from Denver. Extension centers are also operated in Loveland, Denver, Colorado Springs, and online. Recognized with the Environmental Stewardship Award, UNCO is ranked the 239th best research university in America by Forbes. With APA approval, the School of Psychological Sciences is also recognized by the U.S. News for the 209th best graduate psychology programs nationwide.

Psychology B.A.

UNCO’s Psychology B.A. program is strategically structured to build the qualitative and quantitative research skills used in scientific research on people’s thoughts, behaviors, feelings, and experiences. After the Liberal Arts Core (LAC), students finish their 120-credit degree with specialized major courses in cognition, abnormal psychology, human growth, perception, personality, and psychological testing. Up to six credits can be applied for field experience in Northern Colorado agencies. B.A. students can participate in the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) in more than 55 nations. There’s also a two-year online degree completion program in psychology for working adults with an associate’s.

Educational Psychology M.A.

Ideal for teachers and school staff, the Educational Psychology M.A. program at UNCO is focused on studying the cognitive processes for human learning and motivation. Students will investigate the psychology of teaching, effectiveness of instructional strategies, and impact of technology on comprehension. Courses are delivered on-campus in Greeley, off-campus in Denver, and fully online. The 30-credit curriculum can be completed in one academic year full-time. Instead of a master’s thesis, students take a comprehensive exam or write a capstone paper. There’s also an Accelerated 4+1 B.A./M.A. in Educational Psychology for juniors and seniors with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Educational Psychology Ph.D.

At the doctoral level, the University of Northern Colorado grants the Educational Psychology Ph.D. degree for graduates interested in researching how to effectively assess student learning and educate special populations, such as gifted students. Requiring at least 67 credits beyond the M.A., the curriculum allows for concentration in Learning and Cognitive Processes, Human Development, or Statistics and Measurement. Doctoral candidates must complete two research seminars, field practicum, a research apprecenticeship, and a dissertation. Each spring, the School also takes applications for teaching assistant positions. Graduates are prepared for careers in academia, education research, consulting, policymaking, and educational testing.

Accreditations

American Psychological Association (APA)
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA)

Contact

McKee Building 14
Greely, CO 80639
(970) 351-2236
marilyn.welsh@unco.edu
Program Link

University of the Rockies

Psychology Degree Programs

The University of the Rockies, formerly called the Colorado School of Professional Psychology, is a regionally accredited private for-profit graduate school owned by Bridgepoint Education Inc. to provide programs in the social and behavioral sciences. Enrolling more than 1,700 post-graduate students, UoR is headquartered in Denver on the Front Range of the Southern Rocky Mountains to deliver on-campus and online instruction. Twice, UoR has been honored with INSIGHT into Diversity’s Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award. Psychology degree programs are available at the master’s and doctoral level for students wishing to serve diverse clients, contribute to the public good, and support long-term community health.

Master of Arts in Psychology

The Master of Arts in Psychology program at the University of the Rockies gives graduate students the ability to delve into how human behavior impacts social and organizational dynamics to develop careers as effective change agents. Consisting of 39 credits, the curriculum allows for specialization in Career Management and Counseling, Criminology and Justice Studies, Educational Leadership, General Psychology, Health and Wellness, Mediation and Conflict Resolution, or Sport and Performance Psychology. Students can complete the program on-site in Denver during evening hours or fully online with no campus trips. The M.A. won’t satisfy requirements for becoming a licensed psychologist though.

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Available in Denver or online, the Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) program allows Rockies graduate students to discover how emotional and mental health affects the functioning of human beings in clinical or workplace settings. Although all courses are offered online, at least three in-residence weekends are required in Denver for group interaction. The dynamic curriculum consists of 68 total credits, including doctoral dissertation research. Specializations are offered in Business Psychology, Criminology and Justice Studies, Educational Leadership, Health and Wellness, Mediation and Conflict Resolution, Mental Health Administration, Nonprofit Management, Organizational Leadership, or Sport and Performance Psychology. Without APA accreditation, the program doesn’t satisfy clinical licensing qualifications.

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), Clinical Specialization

Following the practitioner-scholar model, the Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), Clinical Specialization program strives to produce competent practitioners with the skills to critically evaluate research and apply findings in designing effective mental health services. Classes are taught on-campus in Denver during evenings and weekends for convenience. Hands-on training is obtained in the 12 state-of-the-art therapy rooms in the Rockies Counseling Center (RCC). The 121-credit curriculum also includes off-campus field practicum experiences across Denver. Concentrations can be declared in Clinical Neuroscience, Forensic/Corrections Psychology, Health Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy, or Sports Neuropsychology. PsyD graduates typically don’t qualify for obtaining licensure in most states.

Accreditations

Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA)

Contact

1201 16th Street Suite 200
Denver, CO 80202
(866) 621-0124
admissions@rockies.edu
Program Link

Western State Colorado University

Behavioral & Social Sciences Department

Nestled in the Rocky Mountains on a 350-acre rural campus in Gunnison near the Blue Mesa Reservoir, Western State Colorado University is a four-year public liberal arts teaching institution offering 22 academic majors to around 2,400 students. Named the 93th best regional college in the West by Forbes magazine, WSCU was crowned the 187th “Best Bang for the Buck” for the Western United States in Washington Monthly. Within the Behavioral & Social Sciences Department, students can study criminal justice, geography, history, politics, psychology, and sociology with a student-faculty ratio of 17:1.

Major in Psychology

At the baccalaureate level, the Major in Psychology at Western is designed for undergraduate students interested in investigating the scientific bases of human and animal minds to better predict individual behavior. Students achieve greater understanding of themselves, their relationships, and key societal issues. Along with the General Psychology track, there are specialized emphasis areas for Experimental Psychology and Clinical, Counseling, and Social Psychology. Majors must complete at least 120 credits, including 40 credits in psychology. Coursework will span topics from motivation and personality to behavioral genetics and forensics. Since 1998, the university has had a Psi Chi Honor Society chapter. Students also participate regularly in the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association (RMPA).

Accreditations

Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA)

Contact

600 North Adams Street
Gunnison, CO 81231
(970) 943-7011
scoykendall@western.edu
Program Link

Majoring in psychology and other social sciences may not reap the same return on investment as STEM disciplines, but the degree will develop value-added skills. Psychology degrees help students better understand people’s behaviors and become great communicators, which is valuable in any field. Graduate education in psychology will provide plenty of room for advancement into above-average salary ranges. For example, clinical psychologists earn an average yearly salary of $74,030 and I/O psychologists make $90,070 on average each year. Feed your fascination with the human mind and behavior by considering one of these psychology degree programs in Colorado.

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